If you spot a serious safety hazard at your workplace, you need to file a hazard or violation complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as quickly as possible. OSHA will issue citations only for violations that either currently exist or could be found within the last six months. You only have a certain number of days to contact OSHA to file a complaint against your employer in New York.
Whistleblower complaints must be filed within the time limits specified within the whistleblower statute relevant to the complaint, as follows (timeline starts on the date you experienced adverse action from your employer, such as being terminated):
|30 Days||60 Days||90 Days|
|Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)||International Safe Container Act (ISCA)||Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)|
|Clean Air Act (CAA)||Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21)|
|Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)|
|Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA)|
|Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)|
|Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA)|
|Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)|
Ways to File an OSHA Safety Hazard or Violation Complaint
OSHA provides several avenues for filing a complaint:
Complete the Online Complaint Form – A good way to encourage an onsite OSHA inspection is to complete and submit an online complaint form. The form lets you provide specific details about the safety hazard, its location, and whom you notified of the condition. You have the option to authorize the release of your name to your employer or to keep your name confidential. The information you provide will be sent to a state plan best suited to respond to the issue.
Fax or Mail the Complaint Form – You can also download and print a complaint form, complete it, and either fax or mail it to your OSHA Regional or Area Office. Sending your form to the OSHA Area Office closest to you is the best way to ensure an onsite OSHA inspection. Be sure to include your contact information as requested on the form, so that OSHA can follow up with you, if appropriate.
Call an OSHA Office Via Telephone – An OSHA staff member at your local OSHA regional or Area Office can talk to you about your complaint and answer your questions.
For any immediately life-threatening hazard or emergency, contact your local OSHA Regional or Area Office or call 1 (800) 321-OSHA (6742
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Filing a Whistleblower Complaint
Sometimes, employers might retaliate against workers for exercising their employee rights. In such a case, the employee is entitled to file a whistleblower complaint. This complaint must establish four allegations:
- The employee acted in a way protected by whistleblower protection law.
- The employer was aware of or suspected the employee’s actions.
- The employer acted adversely toward the employee.
- The employer’s negative behavior was prompted by the worker’s protected actions.
How to File a Whistleblower Complaint
You can file a whistleblower complaint using any of the following methods:
- OSHA’s online whistleblower complaint form
- Faxing, mailing, or emailing a printed copy of the downloadable whistleblower complaint form to your local OSHA Regional or Area Office
- Calling your local OSHA Regional or Area Office
- Walking into your local OSHA Regional or Area Office
Your whistleblower complaint cannot be made anonymously, and you must respond to OSHA’s follow up, or it will dismiss your complaint.
Information to Gather for Your Whistleblower Complaint
You can help your OSHA investigator pursue your complaint by having access to the following items:
- Copies of relevant text messages, emails, meeting notes, memos, work orders, activity logs, etc.
- Copy of employee handbook
- Copies of letters related to hiring and/or firing
- Your job description
- Documentation of additional complaints
- Copies of your five most recent pay stubs
- Documentation of disciplinary action you received as an employee
- Documentation from other actions between you and your employer
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We Can Help You With Claims Involving Willful OSHA Violations
If you were injured at work due to a willful OSHA violation, you have the right to file a claim against a third party and pursue compensation for your injuries and related damages. While you cannot sue your employer, we can work to find another liable party before the statute of limitations under New York law runs out.
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will meet with you for a free case review and consultation. Remember, we take no money unless and until your claim for compensation succeeds. The sooner we start, the better the chance for this success. We know you only have a few days to contact OSHA to file a complaint against your employer in New York, and a limited amount of time to file a claim against a third party. Call us at (516) 932-0400.